There is no gainsaying the fact that John Dramani Mahamas Presidency since Ghanas return to constitutional rule in 1992 stands out as the most controversial in spite of the fact that, he is also the President who has enjoyed tremendous goodwill home and abroad.
Right from that fateful day, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 when he returned home as president, having reported for work in the morning as vice president, through presiding over a successful burial and funeral services of his boss, the late President John Atta Mills to a peaceful election and a successful elevation as president, it is not out of place to say John Mahama is one of the luckiest Presidents if not the luckiest President of the Fourth Republican Constitution.
Lucky in the sense that, he has had the opportunity to represent the people of Bole as a legislator for twelve years, a deputy Minister and subsequently a substantive Minister under Jerry Rawlings and to cap it all a Vice President for three and half years. Aside that he has enjoyed fabulous endorsements from religious leaders, traditional rulers, civil society groups and the international community.
Comparably, none of the Head of states of Ghana since 1992 has had such taste and experience in all spheres of governance as President Mahama before becoming the number one gentleman of the state, especially when he has once affirmed that, he is the luckiest vice president, apparently due to the free role handed him by his former boss to administer the country.
It was highly rumored even before the unfortunate demise of the late President Mills by many people, some of whom were not necessarily NDC supporters that, President John Mahama would be the perfect and the right person to lead the umbrella party after the late president had finished serving his term as president.
This view was held in high esteem partly due to President Mahamas down to earth candor, access to all manner of persons, irrespective of their background and on top of all his decisiveness then.
But wait a minute, the once accessible, fine gentleman, affable and down to earth gentleman, which has been President John Mahamas claim to fame, has suddenly or is beginning to erode at a fast rate to the extent that if it were to be the Olympic Games, Usain Bolt the Jamaican sprinter, would not have matched him.
Mr. President, since you won the December 7 and 8, 2012 elections and your subsequent investiture on January 7, 2013, your conduct and some decisions you have taken could best be likened to looking for a lost cow in a hen-coop or better still fishing for a star fish in the Sahara desert.
Party loyalists, who had worked hard to ensure the electoral victory of 2012 and for that were at the receiving end of various forms of attacks from political adversaries of NDC party, have all of a sudden been cut-off from having access to the President.
There is no problem having a new President who decides to work with an entirely new group, but what do you do with the older folks? Why leave them go rot with all their experience in the name of loyalty?
Today, faceless individuals who were nowhere to be found during the struggle for political power are those who wine and dine with President Mahama at will; to the neglect and chagrin of many of the hardcore party bigwigs who were in the trenches with the President ahead of the 2012 elections.
The issue of discrepancies in terms of how information from the seat of government are released and the unforgivable mistakes been made by this administration could have been avoided if there were an institutional memory to guide the new appointees.
But unfortunately, the almost total replacement of experienced persons appointed by the late President Mills, means the new faces would have to learn the art of administration the hard way. Some would have to take two or more years of the four years of the Mahama administration to learn basic procedures in their various ministries.
The avoidable gaffes by the current administration are a source of worry to many NDC supporters. Not a day passes by without our office being either inundated with phone calls or flooded with NDC sympathizers complaining bitterly about how the President's decisions and conducts are knifing them at the chest. The party and government have been the subject of public odium as a result of this conducts, the NDC supporters believe.
What prevented the Presidency from coming out in a precise and timely manner on the issue of the Turkey Gold debacle, which was linked to the President by the NPP? Governance is not child's play, especially in an era where voters are becoming discerning and sensitive and would like to know every bit about any issue emanating or relating to the presidency and Ghana.
Why the back and forth about the change of name from Flagstaff House to Jubilee Flagstaff House? Why take such a unilateral decision without consulting the party leadership, Cabinet and the NDC parliamentary caucus? Whose duty was it to come clear on the issue?
What was the Presidency and the Minister of Sports, Elvis Afryie Ankrah whom we are told is the coordinator for the pilgrimage for Pastors to Jerusalem doing when the news first broke up? Why wait until the damage has been done and the airwaves polluted before coming out to state the fact relating to the pilgrimage. Should the NDC always be on the defensive? Why must the government involve itself if no state resource is involved?
Truth must be told, the Presidents decision not to do wider consultations before naming his appointees was not just disgusting but also appalling. It was clear to any discerning person that, that singular act is what has culminated into the needless shuffling or reshuffling of the regional ministers few days after their approval by Parliament.
The government's handling of the erratic power supply which is referred to as in the local parlance as dumsor-dumsor and the poisoned water saga was not in good taste and did not befit a government that is in its second term.
In this particular issue, the president has embarrassed himself several times when he gave deadlines to when the power cuts will end. Who at all has been advising President Mahama on such issues? If care is not taken, it will get to a time that nobody will take the President serious anymore.
Believe you me; things are gradually getting out of hand now that teachers are on strike. The strike action could have been avoided if the Chief of Staff had been proactive and acted with some sense of urgency. What prevented the presidency from meeting the teachers before the strike was announced?
In any case, what was holding government from addressing the concerns raised by the teachers after they were assured of government's commitment to resolve the problem?
It is time all government appointees come out of their air-condition offices to explain issues to Ghanaians. To the President, he should know, but for the NDC that offered him the platform, the Flagstaff House would not have been his place of abode. The attempt to ignore party stalwarts and loyalists will not serve any good purpose.
The President must know that he did not singlehandedly campaign and finance the last years campaign. Whatever other people have done, especially the other party stalwarts and the grassroot, collectively is what has given the party its second term.
So, he must not behave and act as if he is everything NDC and that the party has no other stakeholders apart from him. If he continues to think and acts like that, then he should forget his second term in 2016.
Again, he should also not ignore the fact that, the party stalwarts could collectively come together and sponsor a candidate within the party to challenge him for the presidential candidature of the NDC in 2016.
Make no mistake, if they come together collectively and support another candidate just as they did for Prof Mills and him in the run up to the 2012 election, it would be very difficult for him to wade through the presidential primary if the above-mentioned attitude does not change.
It is not too late, the President should sit down and have a re-think so that he can shed these domestic dictatorial tendencies and fully unite the party again for the future battle because 2016 is just around the corner.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|